XF 2.2 Accessing custom user table fields in the XF2 template

We have a few custom fields added to our xf_user table. They contain information that's updated in the database via systems outside of XF2.

However, I want to be able to display them in the XF2 template. EG: We have a field called "user_roll" added to the xf_user table.

I'd assume we could access it in the template via something like: {$xf.visitor.user_roll} however doing that doesn't show any values.

Is there something I'm missing? We used to be able to display this info in XF1 without ay extra steps. But I'm assuming with XF2 there's some step I need to take to make those fields available in the $xf.visitor?
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